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Fairfax County Rejects Redevelopment Proposal for Phase One of Reston Town Center North

(Updated on May 18, 2 p.m. to include information about the release of the RFP)

Fairfax County officials formally rejected a redevelopment proposal for two blocks of the future Reston Town Center North project, a 47-acre plot of land where a street grid, mixed-use buildings and a recreation center are envisioned.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors rejected Reston Civic Core’s October 27, 2017 proposal earlier this month, citing that the proposal’s scope was well beyond the intention of the project and required a “substantial financial commitment” from the county. The cost of the project was not immediately made available.

RTC North, which is located south of Bowman Towne Drive, will be developed through a public-private partnership. The first phase of development, blocks seven and eight, could include more than 420 residential units, an expanded homeless shelter and library, private commercial development and office space for nonprofit organization.

An advisory committee with representation from Reston citizens and senior county staff first recommended denying the proposal. The county will continue examining other development proposals in the coming months.

In response to a request from Reston Now, the county declined to release the RFP, which was issued in July 2017, and Reston Civic Core’s proposal. Here’s more from a spokesman about the denial: 

Because the proposal was rejected, the request for proposal and proposal are sealed, following the county’s purchasing regulations. Reston Civic Core’s proposal was rejected due to its additional scope and the financial commitment required of  the county. Fairfax County is evaluating how to move forward, including considering future planning and procurement options.

This story has been updated.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

What to do with 47 acres — The development team behind Reston Town Center North will present their plans for the 47-acre project to Reston Association’s Design Review Board tonight. Plans affect the local library and homeless shelter. [Reston Association]

Did someone say chocolate? — On Saturday, the Reston Farm Market will feature a milk and chocolate milk sampling from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the market. [Reston Farm Market]

Leidos named “best for vets” — “Military Times named the company one of the “Best for Vets Employers for 2018.” The annual list recognizes the top 100 U.S. companies across 30 industries committed to supporting military veterans and their families through culture, recruitment, and company policies. ” [PR Newswire]

Yesterday’s storm damages Reston home — A home in Reston was damaged yesterday night. No one was home at the time. [FOX 5]

Morning newsletter resumes — After a brief hiatus, we’re bringing our a.m. newsletter, a handwritten selecgion of news to start your day, back. Expect an update between 6:15 and 6:25 a.m. every weekday.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Concerns About Library, Public Services Dominate RTC North Feedback

The future status of the Reston Regional Library was frequently brought up by attendees of a community meeting Wednesday regarding Fairfax County’s plans for the Reston Town Center North development.

Project coordinator Joan Beacham, of the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, said both the library and the Embry Rucker Shelter will be demolished to make room for the first stage of development. DPWES hopes that construction on the project will begin in 2022.

“We want to make sure everyone understands this is a long-term development,” she said. “Things aren’t going to happen right away.”

What is planned to happen when work does begin, Beacham said, is the transfer of the library and the shelter into temporary facilities. The temporary library, she said, would top out at 6,000 square feet — a figure that caused great concern to residents, as the current library is about five times that size.

“The Reston library has over 1,000 people a day that go to it,” said Dennis Hays. “We’re talking about 1,000 Restonians a day who will not have a [full-sized] library to go to for an indeterminate amount of time.”

Hays and other residents suggested the Request for Proposals for development ask applicants to commit to building the new facilities before demolishing the existing ones. The new library, Beacham said, is planned to be 39,000 square feet and exist on the first one or two floors of a new high rise at the same location. The new shelter, planned to be more than twice the size of the current one, is proposed for a similar “urban form” layout.

In the redevelopment, the 50-acre area — bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Town Center Parkway, New Dominion Parkway and Fountain Drive — would be realigned into nine parcels, which would then be rezoned into urban blocks. The first two parcels slated for redevelopment are Blocks 7 and 8, which include the library and the shelter.

“We feel in order to move forward with 7 and 8, temporary facilities will be required,” Beacham said. “This is the way that public facilities are repaired and replaced all over the county — it’s not just a situation with Reston.”

Both Beacham and Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said replacing the library and shelter is a priority of the project, as they are outdated facilities in need of additional capacity.

In total, Blocks 7 and 8 are planned to include:

  • 360-420 market-rate residential units and 30 county-supportive housing units
  • 174,000-244,000 square feet of private retail development
  • 28,000 square feet of office space for nonprofits
  • the 39,000-square foot library
  • a 25,000-square foot shelter

Future plans for other blocks in RTC North include the development of a 90,000-square foot recreation center by the Fairfax County Park Authority, replacement of the North County Human Services Center, and a 6-acre central green space among 10 total acres of open space. Redevelopment of the whole area is expected to take more than a decade.

Residents who attended Wednesday night’s meeting also challenged county staff on promoting a population increase through the project without addressing needed amenities such as additional schools, fire stations and parks. Many who spoke on the subject have brought up the same issues during community meetings regarding the county Department of Planning and Zoning’s proposal to increase the overall population density in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District.

In response to the concerns about schools, Beacham said developers are required to donate $12,000 per projected new student to Fairfax County Public Schools. That money is turned over to the school board’s capital improvements fund.

“The school board can use that money however they want, as far as their Capital Improvement Program,” she said. “Fairfax County Schools tracks population, they’re aware of this development.”

Gayle Hooper, landscape architect for the Fairfax County Park Authority, told citizens that there is a “broader plan” for new parks in the area. The Comprehensive Plan calls for three new athletic fields to be constructed in Reston’s TSAs.

“There is a need for more fields than that, but [the Plan] points out the potential that those fields should be specifically in those locations,” she said. “Developers, when they come in, have a requirement to meet that need. In Reston, they have a prescribed dollar amount per square footage of development they need to pay that will go toward athletic field construction or improvement to existing fields.”

Hooper said there is a plan to expand fields at Baron Cameron Park and add lighting and synthetic turf, which “greatly expands the amount of play you can get throughout the season and within the hours of the day.”

Reston resident Tammi Petrine, though, said there is a lack of land within the corridor to construct new schools or to provide parks that are walkable for urban residents.

“I go to Reston [Planning & Zoning committee] and I see the applications that come through, and every one of them passes the buck — ‘No, we’re not providing a field, we have 34 acres but we’re building curb to curb,'” she said. “This is what we’re getting. It’s reality versus theory.”

The presentation from Wednesday evening’s meeting is available on the DPWES website. Beacham said anyone interested in submitting further comments about the plan can email [email protected] within the next week.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Three More Pool Hours Each Day — Lake Newport Pool is opening each weekday at 10 a.m. and will continue to do so through June 23. The pool, which is open until 7 p.m., had been originally scheduled to open at 1 p.m. each day. The pool is closed on Fridays. [Reston Association]

Meeting on RTC North Project Tonight — Proposed redevelopment of Reston Town Center North will be the topic of a community meeting hosted by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services along with Supervisor Cathy Hudgins from 7-9 p.m in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive). [Fairfax County DPWES]

SLHS Runners Heads to States This Week — The South Lakes High School track and field team will participate in the state championships Friday and Saturday in Newport News. Last weekend, the team had strong performances at the North Region championship, including a record-tying effort by freshman Hannah Waller. [Reston Patch]

Reckless Gun Discharge at Chantilly Chick-fil-A — Fairfax County Police reports a 38-year-old woman was struck in the hand by a stray bullet while walking in the restaurant’s parking lot Tuesday afternoon. [FOX 5]

File photo courtesy Carole Burnett

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Reston Town Center North Redevelopment Again Up for Public Feedback

Proposed redevelopment of Reston Town Center North will be the topic of a community meeting hosted by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services along with Supervisor Cathy Hudgins later this month.

The upcoming meeting will be held in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive) from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 31. DPWES is scheduled to provide a brief presentation about the Town Center North-Mixed Use Area, including the Request for Proposal process for the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Shelter.

According to the DPWES:

“Located midway between Tysons and Dulles International Airport, future Reston Town Center North is part of a quickly urbanizing area in northwestern Fairfax County. The Board of Supervisors envisions redeveloping the property from a collection of irregularly-shaped parcels, which are incompatible with Reston Town Center and surrounding development, into a vibrant urban, mixed-use environment that complements Reston Town Center and surrounding development.”

DPWES says the redevelopment would allow for the creation of a central green space open for public use; mixed-use development compatible with adjacent Reston Town Center; a walkable community connected to surrounding communities, Reston Town Center and public transportation; an expanded library to serve a growing population; upgraded delivery of human services; and affordable housing provided for workforce.

As part of the redevelopment, the area would be realigned into nine parcels, which would then be rezoned. A 2.6-acre public park is proposed for the center of the development. The first two parcels slated for redevelopment are the library and the shelter, which will be fully replaced. The Fairfax County Park Authority also has rights to build a 90,000-square-foot recreation center in the area, and the North County Human Services Center would also be replaced.

Redevelopment of the whole area — bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Town Center Parkway, New Dominion Parkway and Fountain Drive — is expected to take more than a decade.

The county last held a community meeting on the proposal in November 2015, shortly after a land swap was completed between the county and Inova, which also included Reston Towne Green, a five-acre parcel, being transferred from the Park Authority. Comments shared by community members during the meeting included suggestions about the locations and amenities of the library and shelter, as well as concerns about parking and open space.

Maps courtesy Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services

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Numerous Local Projects Among County’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan

The Fairfax County Planning Department will hear presentations Thursday on the advertised FY 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Program, with a number of Reston projects on the list.

The largest local project in the plan is the reconfiguration and redevelopment of Reston Town Center North, which includes replacing and redeveloping the North County Human Services Center, as well as the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Shelter. An indoor recreation center is also expected to be part of the project.

From the plan:

Reston Town Center North (Infrastructure and Blocks 7 & 8) (Hunter Mill District): Approximately $76,000,000 is proposed to rezone and develop the overall master plan that reconfigures and provides integrated redevelopment of approximately 50 acres currently owned by Fairfax County and Inova at Reston Town Center North (south of Baron Cameron Avenue between Town Center Parkway and Fountain Drive), including the replacement of Reston Regional Library, Embry Rucker Shelter, currently on this site, and development of additional facilities to accommodate Human Services needs. The plan maximizes the development potential consistent with the needs of the community and in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan Amendment approved in February 2013.

North County Human Services Center (Hunter Mill District): $125,000,000 to fund a replacement facility for the existing North County Human Services Center located in Reston. The existing facility is within the redevelopment master plan area known as Reston Town Center North which will be reconfigured for an integrated redevelopment consistent with the needs of the community and in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan Amendment approved in February 2013. The proposed North County Human Services Center will also support a consolidation of existing leased facility spaces in the service area into one Human Services site to provide enhanced and integrated multidisciplinary services to residents in the western part of the County.

The 47-acre area is bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.

The projects are expected to be paid for by Economic Development Authority bond financing, according to the report. Approximately $10 million will be required in FY2018 to fund the county’s share of the agreement with Inova that will provide for the real estate exchange, as well as design and construction of the campus site infrastructure.

Funding of $12,000,000 was approved as part of the fall 2016 Human Services/Community Development Bond Referendum for the shelter, and $10,000,000 was approved as part of the 2012 Library Bond Referendum for the library.

Also among the five-year plan are the continuation of current plans including the Silver Line expansion, the redevelopment of the Crescent Apartments site at Lake Anne, upgrades to Reston and Fox Mill fire stations, the addition to South Lakes High School, and improvements to Reston Community Center and the natatorium.

The workshop and public hearing on the Capital Improvement Plan will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Reston Town Center North map (2015) via Fairfax County

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RA Says Agreement With County Will Result in ‘No Net Loss’ of Land

The Reston Association Board of Directors will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Fairfax County and INOVA that in effect trades 10 acres of land at Reston Town Center North for future land considerations of at least that much.

After months of discussing the title defect issue at meetings and in executive session, the MOU will move ahead after receiving four yes votes and two abstentions at Thursday’s board meeting.

Reston Town Center North is the 50-acre parcel of land owned by Fairfax County and Inova from Baron Cameron Avenue to New Dominion Drive. A land swap was approved by the county last fall in order to reorganize the parcel into blocks for development.

Future plans are likely to include a new Embry Rucker Community Shelter;  a new Reston Regional Library; a new building for community health, social and mental health services; a 90,000-square-foot indoor recreation center; and more housing and retail. A multi-acre park is planned for the center of the parcel.

From RA:

A large portion of the acreage within the redevelopment project area remains subject to the Reston Deed covenants, meaning this land is subject to RA Design Review Board review and new residents would be Reston Association members.

The association is seeking to prevent a “net loss” of open space within the project area. RA staff and counsel have been working with Fairfax County and INOVA Health Care Services for the past year to ensure the project does not infringe on the association’s objectives.

The MOU states that if a minimum of 10 acres of open space is not provided by RTCN by the end of the development process, then a “contribution of $64,340 per acre for each acre that the total area of open space is less than 10 acres shall be made to the Friends of Reston for Community Projects, Inc., to be used only for increasing the amount of or improving the quality of open space and natural areas in Reston.”

 

Several RA members spoke out at Thursday’s meeting both in opposition to to what one citizen called a “terrible agreement.” They were also upset that there was no opportunity for community discussion on the matter.

“In matters like this, are we in any way considered or heard?” RA member John Henley said to the board. “The unfortunate results of the Lake House [were planned] in a similar way. This should stop. Give us, your members, [a chance] to review and discuss how open space matters can be handled with Fairfax County.”

RA land use attorney John McBride said the county and Inova had been maintaining the open space language for the 10 acres had no legal significance.

“RA contends it still does,” he said. ” The MOU says 50 acres will remain under Reston deed and Reston covenants and that residents will be Reston Association Members. The second part deals with the 10 acres, which was deeded from Gulf Reston and was originally a 10-acre buffer in 1974. Obviously, things have changed — it’s not open space. It partially where the library and [Embry Rucker] shelter are [located].

“We have agreed to original 10 acres would continue and be honored in future redevelopment of the property,” he said. “All that does is set a minimum threshold. There will be no net loss for the 10 acres.”

Development-watchers at Reston 2020 are not pleased with the transaction.

“Once again, it appears the RA Board of Directors is on the way to selling out its members rather than fighting for them,” 2020 Co Chair Terry Maynard wrote in a letter to the board. “A proposed MOU that is a plain and simply a giveaway of RA’s deeded rights to 10 acres of open space in Reston Town Center North (RTCN).”

“While both parties would acknowledge that RA has deeded rights to 10 acres of open space in RTCN, the MOU goes on to call everything not covered by concrete as open space, meaning RA will end up with essentially NO open space in RTCN.”

Read a full analysis on Reston 2020’s website.

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RA, County May Want More Green Space at Reston Town Center North

The central green area planned for Reston Town Center North may not be big enough for meaningful programming — but it remains to be seen whether the county or Reston Association will look for ways to expand the outdoor space.

John McBride, Reston Association’s land use attorney, gave an overview of the potential planning issue for Town Center North to the RA Board on Wednesday.

A land swap and reorganization were approved by the county Board of Supervisors last year with a goal of eventually turning the 50-acre parcel into a new home for the Reston Regional Library, the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, recreational amenities and housing.

While owned by the county and Inova, the land has been under RA covenants since the 1970s.

In the center of it all is open space, which totals about 4.5 acres including streets that will cross through it. Overall, there will be a little more than three acres of open space in a long, narrow layout.

“I still think it is not quite big enough,” McBride told the RA Board. “If it is too narrow, there might not be much programming ability.”

McBride says county planners have researched other similar shaped parks, including, Klyde Warren Park in Dallas (5 acres), Citygarden in St. Louis (3.2 acres) and Grand Park in Los Angeles (11.5 acres) for comparison.

Other updates on RTC North:

  • The county intends to submit its development application, plan amendments and proffers this summer.
  • The county and RA are still working on the title issue that says 10 acres running along Baron Cameron Avenue must remain in a natural state.

Photo: Planned layout of RTC North with green space in the middle.

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Title Issue Protecting Natural Space May Impede Town Center North Process

Fairfax County may find an issue as it presses forward with the development of Reston Town Center North. Original county documents show that according to the Reston Deed, 10 acres of the 50-acre project must remain in its natural state.

The county approved a land swap with Inova last fall, clearing the way for future development of the area from Baron Cameron Avenue to New Dominion Drive.

County planners have held several community meetings to discuss future plans, which are likely to include a new Embry Rucker Community Shelter;  a new Reston Regional Library; a new building for community health, social and mental health services; a 90,000-square-foot indoor recreation center; and more housing and retail. A multi-acre park is planned for the center of the parcel.

While Reston Town Center North still has to go through a lengthy rezoning and approval process and is not expected to be completed for a decade, it may run into a problem soon.

The entire parcel is subject to the Reston Deed. In 1974, 50 acres of land were sold and conveyed to the Board of Supervisors by Gulf Reston, the developer of Reston at that time, county records show.

However, the 10 acres running along Baron Cameron Avenue and is subject to many restrictions, that say the space must remain in its natural state.

“No building, structures or improvement shall be built or placed on the property conveyed herein, except structures which may be required for storm drainage or sanitary sewage purposes, or  any building, structure or improvement which, in the aggregate, covers no more than 10 percent of the land area of this parcel and which is intended for recreational uses,” 1974 county documents state.

“The property shall otherwise be left in its natural state,” the document reads. “This covenant shall run with the land and be binding on the Grantee and its successors and assigns, for a period of ninety-nine (99) years from the date hereof.”

When that land was designated as open space — at a cost of 10 cents per acre — the restrictions were not intended to be permanent because the Reston Master Plan at the time designated this area for a future hospital, library, police or other governmental facilities. It also granted the land to the county for those county facilities rather than to Reston Association.

Reston Association’s Board of Directors discussed the issue at its Aug. 15 meeting and said that any development on the land will be part of RA — and recognized that the 10 acres designated natural space may be a title defect.”

“The Board has found no action taken by its predecessor boards or RA members to remove this land from the deed, it is the position of the Reston Association that the referenced land remains subject to Reston deed covenants. This means the land is subject to RA Design Review Board review and its residents shall be new Reston Association members,” RA President Ellen Graves said at the time.

About the county land, Graves said: “While the restrictive covenant limits the use and development of this 10-acre portion of land to natural, open space, none of this land was ever deeded to Reston Association or designated common area by Reston Association. The restrictive covenant presents a title defect which may impeded or hinder the development anticipated by the county.”

The board passed a motion to that RA attorneys work work with Inova and Fairfax County to “work around this restrictive covenant, but only in a manner that preserves and/or enhances open space.”

What will happen to the acreage and the natural space? Time will tell. But expect the issue to be addressed as the project moves forward.

Planners have given this estimated timeline for redevelopment: Rezoning and and a Request for Proposals will take place in 2016, followed by individual rezoning of Blocks 7 and 8 (closest to the town center) in 2018. The design and permit process would take about 18-24 months in 2018-2020. Construction would take several years, with the final product being delivered in 2023.

Graphic: Map of RTC North land/Credit: Fairfax County

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Tentative RTC North Plans Include Expanded, Urban Library & Shelter

Reston Regional LibrarySome details are starting to take shape of what Fairfax County officials and area citizens would like to see on the first two blocks of redevelopment at Reston Town Center North.

At a community meeting on Wednesday, Fairfax County officials presented rough standards for Blocks 7 and 8 — the area along Bowman Towne Drive where the Reston Regional Library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter are located.

Those two facilities will be rebuilt in the same spot — only in a larger and more urban format with more services and amenities.

 “We are not looking to copy the Reston Town Center space, but rather to complement it,” county project manager Andy Miller said about the plans for the overall 49-acre redevelopment that will stretch from Bowman Towne Drive to Baron Cameron Avenue.

No specific plans have been drawn, and the county must first go through a lengthy rezoning and planning process.

But in theory, an idea is emerging of what will be there in the future.

The current library is 30,000 square feet. The replacement library would be 39,000 square feet, which would make it the largest library in the Fairfax County system (not including Fairfax City, which houses the Virginia Room, a large facility for historic documents), said Miller.

The library will be built in “urban form,” meaning it will take up one or two floors in a larger structure. There will be parking beneath the building and no surface parking. There will also be an additional 4,000 square feet of space that will likely be used for senior services.

Embry Rucker Community Shelter, meanwhile, will be replaced with a facility nearly twice its size. The current shelter is 10,500 square feet with 70 beds. The proposed replacement shelter would be 21,300 square feet with 90 beds.

The 90 beds would include space for 11 families, 40 individuals, 6 medical spaces and expanded space during hypothermia season (November to March).

The shelter will in urban form as part of a larger building, with an additional 28,000 square feet being considered for use by non-profits.

Both the library and shelter will need to be temporarily housed elsewhere during construction.

Citizens, as they did at a previous meeting in September, gave feedback on what they would like to see at both facilities. Among the suggestions: tutoring rooms and more children’s areas at the library;  and the temporary shelter being relocated to the empty Cameron Glen Care building nearby.

The county also showed tentative plans for other development on Blocks 7 and 8. There will likely be between 270,000 and 340,000 square feet of retail/commercial/office space, much of it in the same buildings as the library and shelter.

Tentative residential plans for Blocks 7 and 8 include 360-420 market-rate units; 12 percent affordable units (44-51 units); and 30 “supportive housing units” related to the shelter (mainly for people/families making less than 30 percent of the area median income).

An estimated timeline for redevelopment: Rezoning and and a Request for Proposals would take place in 2016, followed by individual rezoning of Blocks 7 and 8 in 2018. The design and permit process would take about 18-24 months in 2018-2020. Construction would take several years, with the final product being delivered in 2023.

Read about overall plans for Reston Town Center North in this previous Reston Now story.

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Speak Up on Reston Town Center North Next Week

 Reston citizens will have another chance to weigh in on the future of Reston Town Center North at a community meeting Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. at  South Lakes High School.

The meeting is a continuation of the conversation on Sept. 19, where county officials discussed the community’s needs regarding Embry Rucker Community Shelter, Reston Regional Library and the North County Human Services Building, which houses mental and social services.

In late September, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a land swap between the Fairfax County and Inova. The swap will help the county organize the 49-acre site better in order for it to be rezoned and redeveloped in parcels.

First up: Parcels 7 and 8 (see attached map), which houses Embry Rucker and the library. Both are aging and in need of expansion, officials said at previous meetings. A Request for Proposals for those facilities was put out to developers several months ago. The county has not yet released the results.

Fairfax County voters approved $10 million in funding for the new library as part of a 2012 bond issue.

Citizens attending the September meeting spoke up about adding a nursing home to replace Cameron Glen Care Center, which closed in 2014. Many also wanted to make sure the library got proper attention — and that citizens would not be shortchanged if the library was temporarily relocated during construction.

The redevelopment of all parcels will take up to 10 years, Andrew Miller, Project Coordinator of the Public-Private Partnerships Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, said at a previous meeting.

The Town Center North project also includes the county’s acquisition of Reston Towne Green, a five-acre parcel from the Fairfax County Park Authority. In exchange, the park authority has rights to build a 90,000-square-foot recreation center in RTC North. It also ensures that Reston Town Center North will have a 2.6-acre public park in the center of the development.

Eventually, the proposed redevelopment, which runs from New Dominion Parkway to Bowman Town Drive and Town Center Parkway to Fountain Drive, may also include building residences, a performing arts center, offices, and retail, among other amenities.

Inova owns the parcels with Sunrise Assisted Living, the Emergency Care Center and the former Cameron Glen building. Inova has no immediate plans for redevelopment, a representative said.

Graphic of Reston Town Center North grid courtesy Fairfax County

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Update: County Approves Land Swap at Reston Town Center North

The future of the Reston Town Center North area took a step forward last week when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a land swap between the county and Inova.

The 49-acre site is currently a jumble of parcels owned by both the county and Inova. By authorizing the swap, the two will now be able to more uniformly align the parcels and begin redevelopment.

The approval includes the county’s acquisition of a the Reston Towne Green, a five-acre parcel from the Fairfax County Park Authority. In exchange, the park authority has rights to build a 90,000-square-foot recreation center in the area. It also ensures that Reston Town Center North will have a 2.6-acre public park in the center of the development.

The park authority agreed to the land swap in April.

According to the terms of the contract, if the Town Center North area remains undeveloped, the supervisors would reconvey the Reston Towne Green parcel back to the park authority.

The proposed redevelopment to the area, which runs from New Dominion Parkway to Bowman Town Drive and Town Center Parkway to Fountain Drive, includes replacing the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Community Shelter, as well as building mixed-use (residential, a performing arts center, offices, retail, among other amenities).

The county recently held a Request for Proposals for developers on the first phase of redevelopment, on the blocks including the library and shelter.

Andrew Miller, Project Coordinator of the Public-Private Partnerships Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, said at a community meeting two weeks ago that development will likely take more than 10 years.

The goal now is to realign the land — some owned by the county (eventual blocks 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 in the graphic above) and the rest (eventual blocks 2, 4, and 6) by Inova, Miller said. Then there will be rezoning for the individual parcels when it is decided what to do with the land.

Phase 2 of redevelopment would include county-owned blocks 1, 3, 5 and 9. The county would like to see a new Health and Human Services building on that land, as well as housing and retail. Other ideas put forth at the meeting: a performing arts center, a fire station and transitional housing.

Inova owns the parcels with Sunrise Assisted Living and the Emergency Care Center. Inova has no immediate plans for redevelopment, a representative said.

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Reston Town Center North’s Future Needs, Process Gets a Look

Years from now, the 49-acre area from Baron Cameron Avenue to Reston Town Center could be a vibrant mix of residences, community spaces and services, including a new public library and recreation center.

But first, the parcel needs to be reorganized, rezoned and re-imagined.

Fairfax County on Saturday held the second of what will likely be many community engagement and information sessions about Reston Town Center North.

A land swap between the county and Inova is in its final stages of approval and a Request for Proposals (RFP) has been put out to developers for the first phase of redevelopment, which would include the Reston Regional Library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter.

County officials said the first round of RFP was mainly a call for developers to see who had the finances to take on redevelopment. An RFP later this year will call for specific plans.

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the goal right now is to get community input about what the needs will be for Reston in the decades to come.

“How can we keep that vision alive in Reston?” she said. “I look at that swath of land as an asset that has been given to us. We have been able to acquire it and put it to use. What our are needs in the future? If we look at it as an extension of Reston Town Center, what do we do there?”

Saturday’s presentation included information from the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, which offered a look at Reston’s number of people living in poverty (5 percent); in need of affordable housing (35 percent of renters spend more than 30 percent of monthly income on rent); and in need of county services.

They underscored the need to include a new human services facility to replace the current one in the Town Center North area.

Andrew Miller, Project Coordinator of the Public-Private Partnerships Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, said development will likely take more than 10 years.

The goal now is to realign the land — some owned by the county (eventual blocks 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 in the graphic above) and the rest (eventual blocks 2, 4, and 6) by Inova. Then there will be rezoning for the individual parcels when it is decided what to do with the land.

“We need to hear from the citizens what services are needed,” he said.

Citizens attending the meeting spoke up about adding a nursing home to replace Cameron Glen, which closed in 2014 and ensuring the library gets proper attention. They also met in small groups to offer feedback on what the area needs.

Some key points made by Miller:

Density will stay about the same (FAR .9), with higher density allowed in the parcels closest to the Reston Town Center.

The first two parcels slated for redevelopment will be the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Shelter. Both buildings are about 30 years old and in need of replacement, he said. County voters also authorized a bond in 2012 that puts $10 million towards a new library.

Both the library and shelter would likely move to temporary locations for one to two years during construction. There is a chance that the now-empty Cameron Glen Care Center, located in Parcel 6 of RTC North, could serve as a temporary shelter, he said.

Phase 2 of redevelopment would include county-owned blocks 1, 3, 5 and 9 of RTC North. The county would like to see a new Health and Human Services building on that land, as well as housing and retail. Other ideas put forth: a performing arts center, a fire station and transitional housing.

There will be a town green in the center of RTC North. The Fairfax County Park Authority also has the rights to 90,000 square feet, where it would likely build an indoor recreation center.

Parcels 2, 4, 6 (bordering Fountain Drive close to the Spectrum, which is also slated for a major redevelopment) are owned by Inova and already hold Inova’s Emergency Care Center and Sunrise Assisted Living. In between those two buildings is the former Cameron Glen parcel.

Development consultant Dave Sittler, representing Inova, said Inova has no current plans for changes on its parcels. He said Inova’s goal right now is to help complete the land swap so RTC North can go from a patchwork of parcels to an organized grid of blocks.

There will be a public hearing at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting regarding the county-Inova land swap, with further public hearings to come in the future, officials said.

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Save the Date: Town Center North Community Meeting Sept. 19

Reston Town Center as seen from Town Center NorthWhat county services should be offered at Reston Town Center North?

That will be the subject of a community meeting hosted by Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins on Sept. 19 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Reston Community Center Lake Anne).

The county is preparing for the redevelopment 49 acres from New Dominion Parkway to Bowman Town Drive and Town Center Parkway to Fountain Drive. The area encompasses the current Reston Regional Library, the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, the North County Human Services Center and the former Cameron Glen Care Center site.

The county issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) this summer for the first phase of redevelopment. The RFP application deadline was Aug. 20. The county has not announced the next step in the process or who was chosen for the project.

The county eventually envisions a mixed-use district, with renovated or relocated space for the library and shelter, as well as offices, hotels, a performing arts center and at least 1,000 new residences.

The Fairfax County Park Authority also plans to build an indoor pool and recreation center at Town Center North. Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie said earlier this year the recreation center would primarily be funded with bonds, including an $87.7 million bond in 2016 and an $88 million bond on the ballot in 2020. He said the park authority would seek developer proffers to help pay for the facility. Typical proffers are around $800 per residential unit, he said.

The North County Human Services building (1850 Cameron Glen Drive) houses such offices as Adult and Aging Services, Child Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoption Services and Child Abuse Prevention Services.

Hudgins’ office says the discussion at the Sept. 19 meeting will include Fairfax County Deputy County Executive Patricia Harrison, who will highlight the proposed health, housing and human services community input process.

Fairfax County Deputy Executive Rob Stalzer and Andrew Miller, Project Coordinator of the Public-Public Private Partnership Branch will discuss the county and Inova’s (which owns some of the land) general plans, including the (RFP process and potential development scenarios that may be considered for Town Center North.

The county envisions a mixed-use district, with renovated or relocated space for the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Community Shelter, as well as offices, hotels, a performing arts center and at least 1,000 new residences.

“Participants have the opportunity to identify critical needs that should be addressed in the redevelopment of the County owned property, as well as the larger site,” Hudgins said in a statement. “It is important to continue the conversation on how best to maintain a vibrant and livable community for all.”

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